According to the Department of Environmental Protection’s Division of Fish, Game and Wildlife, the third issue of the Limited Edition New Jersey Marine Life Print is now available. The print is sponsored by the Artificial Reef Association, an organization of party and charter boat captains dedicated to raising funds for the construction of artificial reefs along the Jersey coast.
“These prints are an investment in New Jersey’s marine environment,” said division Director Bob McDowell. “The proceeds will be used to create new homes for marine fish and shellfish, as well as new fishing spots for saltwater anglers.”
The full-color print, entitled “Blues on the Beach” depicts an underwater drama of bluefish attacking a school of anchovies in the surf. The bluefish is New Jersey’s State Saltwater Fish and is one of the state’s premiere gamefish. Each year, New Jersey anglers catch 10 to 15 million bluefish. The original artwork was painted in oils by artist Diane Peebles, who has won the South Carolina Marine Life Stamp Print contest four times. Ms. Peebles is an avid angler and has the first-hand experience needed to present a realistic view of ocean predators in action. The edition is limited to 500 copies, individually numbered and signed by the artist. Print size is 18” x 24” and is reproduced on acid-free, archive-quality stock to ensure the best quality reproduction.
Proceeds will support the cleaning and towing of old ships and barges out to ocean reef sites where they will eventually be sunk. During the past five years, the Artificial Reef Association has donated enough funds to help the division’s Reef Program sink 20 vessels and many other structures on eight reef sites. Once on the sea floor, these new shipwrecks are quickly colonized by marine fish and shellfish.
“Shipwrecks have always been important to New Jersey anglers and scuba divers. The division’s reef program is trying to increase recreational opportunity by providing more structured habitat. Since 1983, more than 1,000 artificial reefs have been constructed on a network of 14 reef sites between Sandy Hook and Cape May,” McDowell said.
The 1997 Limited Edition Marine Life Print makes an excellent gift for anglers, divers, wildlife art collectors or anyone who loves the Jersey shore. Prints are $60 each, plus $5 for postage and handling. Please make checks payable to “ARA” and mail to:
Artificial Reef Association
P.O. Box 16
Oceanville, NJ 08231